Burnley Flop in Forest Felling
Tuesday 12th April 2011 @7:45pm Kick-Off
The Clarets misery continued last night at the City Ground with yet another defeat not to mention a straight red card for Marvin Bartley. Nottingham Forest, who had not won in nine games turned the tables on ten-men Burnley eventually coming out 2-0 victors thanks to two late goals in the second half from Forest substitute, David McGoldrick. The result was yet another blow to our lingering hopes of reaching the play offs with just one point now from the last six games. The only saving grace was that Leeds United also lost going down 2-1 away to Derby County to stay in 6th place. We therefore remain seven points behind the Yorkshire club with a game in hand.
We could still catch them considering we also still have to play them at Elland Road in our penultimate game of the season but a win there would be a tall ask and realistically it now looks like our season is over and will end in failure. If we don`t reach the play-offs by Barry Kilby`s own admission it will be seen as failure after being one of the fancied clubs for promotion at the start of the season following our brief sojourn in the top flight.
The irony is after blaming Brian Laws for most of our failings this season; it is now under new manager Eddie Howe that we are suffering our worst run of form with five defeats and no win now in six games. How much you blame the manager and how much you blame the players is a big debate at the moment but something has quickly got to change for the better.
The only positive you could take from the Forest defeat was that at least we battled this time but it was always going to be an uphill struggle after being reduced to ten men with still an hour to play. The red card for Bartley for a foul on Luke Chambers was controversial to say the least. The midfielder, who had just returned to the side after missing the Leicester game through injury, went into the tackle strongly but connected with the ball. The referee though judged the challenge to be too dangerous and sent Bartley off. Burnley were then under the cosh for most of the game, especially in the second half and it was only a matter of time before Forest would take the upperhand. We held out until the 73rd minute. McGoldrick had only just come on for Tudgay and two minutes later he was celebrating his opening goal. Howe brought on the big guns in the form of strikers, Steven Thompson and Chris Iwelumo in an effort to get the equalizer in a three-pronged attack with Delfouneso but to no avail. Forest made it game over in the third minute of added time with McGoldrick getting his brace.
Eddie Howe had made three changes to the team following the debacle at the Walkers Stadium. Jack Cork made a welcome return following his heart scare, Marvin Bartley also got his chance again after returning to fitness and in came Danny Fox at left back after completing a two-match ban for a tenth yellow card. Jay Rodriguez though had to sit this one out with a thigh injury effectively meaning Delfouneso was our loan striker up front with the side lining up with a plethora of midfielders as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Duff, Bikey. Fox, Cork, Marney, Elliott, Bartley, Eagles, Delfouneso
Subs: Grant, Carlisle, Duffy, Alexander, Wallace, Thompson, Iwelumo
West Yorkshire referee, Jonathan Moss got the game underway
It was a tense opening 30 minutes with both sides on a bad run of form and eager to get their promotion hopes back on track. There was no shot on goal by either side during this scrappy, cagey period.
Burnley though with Jack Cork commanding play in midfield began to get more into the game and frustrate the Forest team and fans. A shot by Delfouneso on the half-hour mark was blocked by Wes Morgan but the ball fell kindly to Chris Eagles off the defender`s back. He let rip with a low drive that tested Camp to the limit. The Forest keeper somehow though got his outstretched boot to the ball deflecting it over the bar.
Two minutes later though disaster struck for the Clarets. Bartley went strongly into a tackle on Chambers and despite making contact with the ball first was adjudged to have challenged too dangerously leading to a straight red card. It took the stuffing out of Burnley but to their credit they dug deep in an effort to hold on and still get something from the game despite the Forest pressure and 11 men advantage.
Forest failed to take advantage for the remainder of the first half though and Burnley had little to worry about. McGugan tried his luck from a free-kick but Tudgay`s back got in the way before he brought out another fairly routine save from Jensen. That was it for the first half which in the end probably proved more frustrating for Forest with their inability to get the breakthrough goal despite their extra man.
Eddie Howe did not make any changes for the start of the second-half but now our defences would be tested to the limit with a more determined, rampant Forest upping a gear or three! We had Jensen to thank for a stunning save in the 54th minute from yet another McGugan free-kick. McGugan`s shot looked to be on target after he got the ball over the Burnley wall. 'The Beast` though had other ideas and flung himself to the right at full stretch to get a hand to the ball. Earnshaw headed the rebound onto the top of the bar but it would not have counted anyway after he was adjudged to be offside.
The pounding continued but Duff and Bikey held firm in the centre of defence before Jensen once more came to the rescue diving at the feet of Earnshaw to smother the ball.
Burnley`s chances to score in the second half were somewhat limited but we came close with Wallace the architect just after he came on from the bench to replace Eagles in the 63rd minute. The former Preston winger found Marney with a pass and the acting captain let rip with a low shot from 22 yards out that looked to be sailing into the bottom corner of the net before Camp saved the danger.
Seven minutes later and Forest finally broke the deadlock and the hearts of all Clarets fans. It all stemmed from Billy Davies making a double substitution on 70 minutes. In virtually his first touch of the game, substitute David McGoldrick scored following a foul by Duff just outside the penalty area. From the resulting free kick by McGugan, the ball bobbled around in the six-yard box before McGoldrick eventually getting a foot to it to score from close range.
Jensen saved yet another attempt by McGugan tipping the ball over the bar.
Burnley now had to throw all their men forward in an effort to somehow find the equalizer and Howe spearheaded that attack by bringing on both Iwelumo and Thompson.
Iwelumo came close with three minutes to go getting his head to a Wallace cross that brought out a save by Camp who managed to snatch the ball and deny the big Scot.
Pushing all our men forward it was inevitable we would then be vulnerable at the back on the break and so it would prove with Forest sealing our fate deep into added time. McGoldrick picked up the ball from Earnshaw following his squared pass and despite miscuing managed to find the back of the net to make it another miserable night for the Clarets.
Nottingham Forest: Camp, Konchesky, Chambers, Morgan, Moloney (Gunter 81), McGugan, McKenna, Moussi (Majewski 70), Earnshaw, McCleary, Tudgay (McGoldrick 71)
Subs Not Used: Darlow, Bennett, Adebola, Boyd
Goals: McGoldrick 73 and 90+3
Booked: Yellow Card for Konchesky
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Duff, Bikey (Thompson 86), Fox, Cork, Marney, Elliott (Iwelumo 80), Bartley, Eagles (Wallace 63), Delfouneso
Subs Not Used: Grant, Alexander, Carlisle, Duffy
Booked: Straight Red Card for Bartley, Yellow Cards for Duff, Bikey, Fox
Possession: 50% Nottingham Forest, 50% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Ref: Jonathan Moss (West Yorkshire)